Author Archives: Andy Duncan

Mises UK Conference 2019, “The Commercial Revolution in Latin Christendom,” Matteo Salonia


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Quantitative easing was the father of millennial socialism


By Andy Duncan

Is the Financial Times going all Austrian on us? The overall trend in global societal time preferences has been declining for thousands of years, as civilisation has grown and spread, particularly from ancient and classical Greece, which had writing, money, robust law, and best of all, an enduring tradition of freedom. But since the coming of fiat money, particularly from the inception in 1913 of the Federal Reserve, widespread money printing has caused huge time preference spikes, in our something-for-nothing society. With socialism being the religion of high time preferences and civilisational decay, to my mind the two are absolutely linked. For the FT to spot this is quite the revelation!

Here’s a quote from their recent article, which is outside their usual pay wall:

“The 2008 crash itself didn’t destroy wealth, but rather revealed how much wealth had already been destroyed by poor decisions taken in the boom. This underscored the truism that the worst of investments are often taken in the best of times.”

Remarkable. Of course, Mises was writing similar statements to this in 1912, before the birth of the Fed, in his epic master work, The Theory of Money and Credit:

It’s only taken a hundred and seven years for the FT to catch up!

The ‘Das Boot’ Reboot – End of Season Review


By Andy Duncan

Well, what to make of Das Boot, the TV series sequel to the original classic 1981 movie with the great Jürgen Prochnow? Well, it’s tricky, as it’s only just finished here in England, and many of you may have failed to see it yet, so I’ll try to avoid spoilers, though some may inadvertently slip through the wolfpack net.

At first, I had been afraid it would prove a complete shipwreck of a show, with cod German accents all spoken in English. Fortunately, however, the producers Bavaria Fiction superbly mixed together a triumvirate of German, English, and French, within a completely natural linguistic balancing act. Plus, it became a lot of fun trying to keep up with the rapid colloquial German of the unwashed greasy crew of U-612. The producers certainly did do a good job of portraying the grimy life of fifty men inside an iron coffin, ten weeks at sea, without a single shower curtain between them, doused in the filth of what this must have been like.

But if I must avoid the plot, let’s talk instead about the major characters. First of all, just as the movie got completely upstaged by the drunkenly deranged Kapitän-Leutnant Philipp Thomsen, this TV series got completely devoured by the early and then late lunatic appearance of the bloodthirsty Korvetten-Kapitän Ulrich Wrangel, who’s certain to become a cult classic character. If you’ve ever wanted to see your enemy’s shipping destroyed in suicidal gung ho fashion, then this would be your man of choice to lead the wolves out of their lair.

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Das Boot: Rebooted


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Review of the New ‘Das Boot’ TV Series, Episode 1, ‘Neue Wege’:

[Spoilers ahead, you have been warned.]

If Karl Marx knew what he was doing, when he unleashed the twentieth century upon us from his venomous seat in the British Library, an avowed century of socialism and mass death, then he truly existed as both a servant of the Devil and as a master of evil.

Unfortunately, we will never know. But what we do know, is that he gave us both international socialism in Russia and national socialism in Germany.

This truth reflected itself perfectly in the original movie, ‘Das Boot’, in which the fabulous Jürgen Prochnow gave us the definitive performance of his and many other lifetimes, as a man torn between duty, honour, and purity, combined with annihilative destruction, a cornucopia of depth charge bombs, and ultimately his own death.

So what to make of this new television sequel to the original 1981 movie?

Well, first of all it proved an absolute relief that despite being financed by Sky television, they shot it in a mixture of mostly German, some French, and a little English.

If they’d shot it entirely in English, it would have immediately plasticised it inside a sheath of ersatz Hollwoodisation, and I might have turned it off immediately. I’m far from claiming to be a fluent German speaker, but to pick up the odd word, the odd phrase, or even the odd part where I could feel whole sentences and whole interactions as if I was actually German – not even actually translating into English – was subliminally excellent.

But…

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How I awoke from being a socialist to a sane person – A review of ‘The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality’, by Ludwig von Mises


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Back in 1998, I was working in the filthy world of trade. I’d received this book from Mises.org one morning and had to wait until lunchtime before I could read it. I then sat in my car in a dreary supermarket car park and opened it up. It took less than an hour to get through. However, the clarity, the penetration, the directness, the sheer thrill of all those dense scales falling from my eyes melted my mind. Who was this Mises? And why had he made me feel so very uncomfortable?

Via the pages of this book, Mises had told me the truth about life, the universe, and everything. He’d tumbled the monuments in my mind, to Marx, by taking a wrecking ball to them.

This book essentially details the societally destructive power of human envy. Like a fine Bossa Nova dancer in perfect tune with his own epistemological theory, Mises slices and slashes at the tenets of Marxism until there’s nothing left but malevolent dust.

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President Jair Bolsonaro: “This is our flag, and it will never be red!”


By Andy Duncan, Vice-Chairman of Mises UK

Are we beginning to witness more of a sea-change in the world? We see President Donald Trump in the United States attempting to roll back some of the American state. We see Chancellor Sebastian Kurz attempting to roll back some of the Austrian state. And now we see President Jair Bolsonaro attempting to roll back some of the Brazilian state.

[I’ll avoid talking too much about the gigantic mess of Brexit and that appalling globalist robot, Theresa May, but at least the process of Brexit has formed some part of the same momentum.]

Yes, we can all hope for the Hoppeian pipedream of waking up one glorious day surrounded by unicorns and pixies, along with a perfect constellation of tiny private law societies all over the globe, and be typically picky about each of these men and their imperfections in terms of libertarian flawlessness. We’ve been so successful with that particular strategy, over the years.

However, back here in the real world, I’m generally becoming more and more hopeful that we’re entering a new phase in history, one where we might actually reach that world of unicorns and pixies, one day, along with at least some Hoppeian private law societies.

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